Herbstreit rips Pryor a new one

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Former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit currently resides in Columbus and even has a regular radio gig in the heart of Buckeye Nation.

After his scorched-earth diatribe against the Buckeyes’s current starting quarterback on College GameDay this morning, a change of address — or the witness protection program — may be in the offing for Herbie.

In a discussion about the trials and tribulations of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Herbstreit absolutely went off on the sophomore.  I mean off off.  Off in a “that man kicked my wife and slept with my dog” kinda way.

After fellow analyst Desmond Howard got the discussion started by saying he believed Pryor and the Buckeyes would get things back on track, Herbstreit hit the “FIRE!” button and launched his verbal assault.

“It remains to be seen if I think they can get it back on track,” Herbstreit said in a grouping of words that turned out to be the kindest, gentlest thing he had to say.  “I think there are bigger issues here than just Terrelle Pryor had a bad game against Purdue.

“The thing that I see, is, Terrelle Pryor came in with all the attention and all the hype and all of the athletic ability, and you don’t see him progressing to become a complete ‘quarterback’.  Knowing down and distance, knowing about the play clock, knowing what hash you’re on.  Being able to read defenses, being able to just grow and develop as a quarterback.

“Listen, we’ve watched Tate Forcier as a true freshman have a better understanding of what it means to be a quarterback than Terrelle Pryor.  We’ve seen Matt Barkley as a true freshman have a better understanding of being a quarterback and what that means than Terrelle Pryor.  So he is not advancing as a quarterback, and to me that is more alarming — and the fact they can’t find a system that fits his abilities — is more alarming than any of the numbers coming off a bad game against Purdue.

“This is a big deal.”

Lee Corso then suggested that OSU run the football to take some of the pressure off Pryor.  Herbstreit answered Corso’s suggestion with even more personal jabs at Pryor, and added some biting shots at the offensive line for good measure.

“They can’t run the ball because they have one of the biggest underachieving offensive lines in the last ten years in college football history.  And they are uninspired, uninspired consistently, so you can’t run the football.

Terrelle Pryor allegedly runs a 4.3 forty… that means you run away from defenders if you run a 4.3 forty.  That’s like having a 100 mile-per-hour fastball.  He’s playing like he runs a 5.3 forty, not a 4.3 forty.  He lumbers horizontally.  He doesn’t get up field and run with the football… he looks shackled, he looks confused, his body language is terrible.  Other than that he’s playing well.”

Ummm, wow?

I don’t know who urinated in Herbstreit’s Cheerios this morning, but I’m thinking Herbie believes they were clad in Scarlet & Gray.

Wazzu statement: ‘The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinksi is devastating to all’

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Tuesday night, the Pullman Police Department confirmed that 21-year-old Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his apartment of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  Very early Wednesday morning, the football program and athletic department released statements addressing the devastating developments.

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH MIKE LEACH
We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing. He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

INTERIM ATHLETIC DIRECTOR John Johnson
The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinski is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Earlier tonight, the football team was brought together and informed of the tragedy. There, they were met by campus and department counseling and psychological services, including athletics’ on-staff clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health counselor, along with WSU Athletics medical team. The university will continue to coordinate and provide ongoing counseling care for all student-athletes as long as needed.

Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski found dead in apparent suicide

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There is utterly tragic and horrific news coming out of Pullman Tuesday night.

According to the Pullman Police Department, Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead at his apartment late Tuesday afternoon of what was described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. “A rifle was discovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found,” the police stated in a release.

Police officers were called to the residence at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:40 p.m. local time) for a wellness check after the redshirt sophomore failed to show up for a team activity earlier in the day.

Hilinski was just 21 years old.

As of this posting, there’s been no official response from the football program regarding the passing of Hilinski.  Wednesday, the university had been expected to announce the new athletic director replacing Bill Moos, Florida Atlantic’s Pat Chun; because of the football player’s death, that press conference will be rescheduled for a later date.

In place of Luke Falk, Hilinski started Wazzu’s Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State.  With Falk off to the NFL, Hilinski was expected to be the Cougars’ starting quarterback in 2018.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Hilinski’s way-too-early passing.

Former Nebraska OL coach Mike Cavanaugh hired by Syracuse

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Dino Babers has added a very experienced trenchman to his Syracuse coaching staff.

The school confirmed Tuesday that Babers has hired Mike Cavanaugh as his next offensive line coach. In a coaching career that spans 32 seasons, Cavanaugh has been a line coach in some form or fashion for 31 of them.

“Mike has an outstanding track record of teaching and developing quality offensive linemen,” Babers said in a statement. “He’s done it successfully at every level in college as well as the pros. This was an opportunity to add someone whose knowledge and experience will greatly enhance our staff and benefit our players.”

The past three seasons, Cavanaugh was the line coach at Nebraska. At the FBS level, he’s also served as a line coach at Oregon State (2005-14) and Hawaii (1999-2004).

From 1997-98, Cavanaugh was the assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.

“I’d like to thank Coach Babers for this opportunity and for welcoming me into the Syracuse family,” Cavanaugh said. “He and his staff have coached some of the most prolific offenses in college football. I’m excited to learn from them and to be part of the championship-caliber program they are building at Syracuse.”

The 2018 season will mark the first time since 2004 Cavanaugh is not a part of a Mike Riley-coached staff.

Kevin Stepherson one of four dismissed by Notre Dame

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At least in South Bend, Kevin Stepherson‘s freefall is complete.

According to 247Sports.com, Stepherson, along with three other Notre Dame football players — sophomore running backs CJ Holmes and Deon McIntosh as well as junior defensive tackle Brandon Tiassum — have been dismissed from the Fighting Irish program.  No specific reason or reasons for the dismissals were given.

Stepherson was one of four Irish players who were suspended for the team’s Citrus Bowl matchup with LSU, with the wide receiver’s suspension stemming from a handful of off-field issues.

Dec. 15, Stepherson was arrested for shoplifting.  The day before that arrest, Stepherson was pulled over on a traffic stop and charged with marijuana possession, driving without a valid license and speeding (he was clocked doing 80 in a 60 mph zone). To make matters worse, at the time of his twin arrests the receiver was already on probation for a marijuana-related arrest in August of 2016.

Adding to the off-field issues, Stepherson was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season for reasons unrelated to the arrest in August of 2016.

At the time of the second suspension, Stepherson led the Fighting Irish in receiving touchdowns with five and yards per catch at 18.9 despite missing one-third of the regular season because of the first suspension.  His 19 receptions and 359 receiving yards were both good for third on the team.

Another of the players who were dismissed, Holmes, was arrested along with Stepherson in the shoplifting incident.  Holmes ran for 32 yards on eight carries this season.

McIntosh was the fourth of the four players suspended for the bowl game.  At the time of his suspension, McIntosh was third on the team in rushing with 368 yards and five touchdowns.

Tiassum played very sparsely this past season, and wasn’t looking at much more playing time in 2018.